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East west music encounter begins tomorrow

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JAN. 25. The eighth East West Music and Dance Encounter, promoted by the Bangalore School of Music and Alliance Francaise and supported by the Directorate of Kannada and Culture, will kick start on Tuesday.

Expressions of "feminity in art" will be the theme with city artist Ramesh Chandra, Belgian painter Jean Letshart, and Danish photographer Johan Benthin bringiong lend new aesthetic sensibilities to their craft when they paint and photograph to the tunes of music at the Alliance Francaise.

The highlight of the festival will be the first real opera of the European school to be presented in the city at Chowdiah Hall on January 30 at 7 p.m. With full costume and orchestra, including that of the BSM, Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas will be presented with the star attraction being the soprano from Belgium, Helen Larsson and other international soloists.

February 1 will see Osmosis, the six-member jazz group from The Netherlands with Bangalore's B.C. Manjunath joining them on mridangam and ghatam, presenting some original sounds. This will be at ING Vysya Bank. To emphasise that popular music is a part of contemporary culture, the French rock band Les Wampas, a craze in Europe, will rock The Club, Mysore Road, from 8 p.m. on February 5.

The Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra of 35 musicians will present Great Sounds from The Netherlands along with a sitar concert at 7 p.m. on February 8 at the Taj West End. The musicians from Amsterdam will play for some city schools for two days and rehearse with the BMS orchestra for the Great Encounter evening scheduled for later. The pianist, cellist, and other artists will conduct workshops for local musicians.

February 14 will see an evening of fascinating Carnatic rhythms and Indian dances at Chowdiah Hall from 7 p.m. Suma Sudhindra, veena exponent, will present "pancha veena" with five players coordinating varied tonalities on this instrument. Madhu Nataraj and her STEM group of dancers will stage a dance ballet. The great encounter takes place the next day at the same venue from 7 p.m. The BSM and Amsterdam orchestras will play symphony music and cellist Svante Henryson of Belgium will encounter the Gramma winner, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. The latter is a student of Pandit Ravi Shankar and has restructured guitar strings to form what he calls a "mohana veena". The paintings made on January 27 will be exhibited and later auctioned by city celebrities at a reception on February 22 at the Windsor Sheraton. The fundraising is for the proposed new building of BSM. On February 24 and 25 there will be workshop for music teachers, students, and music lovers, and a piano recital by Russian virtuoso, Irina Chkourindina, at the Alliance Francaise. February 28 will see the band, Antaragni, play world music and raagas in a perfect East-West blend.

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